The weather still held the next day, so we decided to head for Cradle Mountain Peak, taking the Overland Track route from Ronny Creek, via Marion’s Lookout, and then circled back via Face Track, Lake Wilks Track, and Dove Lake track. Not a cloud in the sky, brilliant weather, and no wind either. This is like winning the lottery up there and it’s beautiful terrain. Wonderful scenery, fantastic views of lakes, rugged peaks and two nice uphill climbs. The first one, to Marion’s Lookout, is steep but very short, so not too hard. Climbing up to the peak itself is a different story, looks rather easy from Kitchen Hut, but it’s a real scramble over boulder fields, using your hands, carefully picking a route. Great fun! You shouldn’t be afraid of heights though. 😁 At the top you’re rewarded with superfantastic views, feels like being on top of the world! ☺ 😊 Just don’t try it when it’s wet and windy … .
The next day, the weather still held, but we decided to do sth less ambitious, because the Reisebegleitung had very sore legs and a also hurt her delicate toe. So we went from Ronny Creek down the Lake Lilla track, then up to Wombat Poo(l), Wombat Peak, Marion’s lookout, Kitchen Hut, then back via the Horse Track and Crater Peak. There were some clouds but they’d cleared by late morning, so the views from Crater Peak were fantastic. It was really windy though, we were glad that we didn’t have to climb Mt Cradle in these conditions. ☺
We then decided to try the Devonshire Tea at the Cradle Mt hotel, it was ok, but the scones weren’t spectacular. The jam was also not too great. We came back for dinner with friends in the evening and that was again a bit of a let-down. Not bad, but not good enough for the kind of money they’re charging. I realize that you’re paying extra for location, but still. If you charge 38 AUD for a main course and the five asparagus are a) still a bit too raw (one more minute…) and b) completely wooden on the lower end, that’s just sloppy, bad execution. Also, the soup was supposed to come with focaccia, we got a sad little cold lump of bread, just out of the freezer by the looks of it. Again, not good enough for this price, please go to Italy and find out what a focaccia really is or just fucking call it „a piece of bread“. One of our friends asked for non-mashed instead of mashed potatoes to accompany her (expensive) main course. When it arrived, there were no potatoes at all. She mentioned this to the waiter and he promised to address it. Then, many minutes after we’d all finished our main course, he arrived with a small plate of potatoes … embarrassing. At least some of their problems are due to untrained staff and bad organization. There were lots of staff around but they attended to tables in a chaotic fashion, whoever seemed to be walking past took the order. Because the guy who’d seated us and who took our drink orders, he was really good, attentive. The guy who took the food order didn’t speak to much English and the others just happened to pass by. So there wasn’t anybody in the place who had a full picture of what we had ordered and that’s a recipe for disaster. And no, the place wasn’t packed, no excuses.
To sum up, if we’d gotten this food in a country pub, it would’ve been OK. But here, for this kind of money and with these pretensions? No fucking way, not good enough. That’s a pattern that we also discovered up in Queensland two years ago: a lot of these wanna be fancy places charge a lot of money and have foreign posh sounding items on the menu, but just can’t deliver on it. They’re really punching above their weight. So you’re way better of self catering. Another example was a pizza we had on the Tasman Peninsula. According to the menu, it should’ve had caramelized onions on it, but it was pickled onions instead. Which is disgusting on a pizza. Or at the Cradle Hotel restaurant: glazed shallots turned out to be a whole picked shallot instead.
Nuff said, next stop Corinna.
PostScript: the accommodation was fantastic. Highlander Cottages, rustic, but clean, right in the forest. Superfriendly, well equipped kitchen, great location. And basically pademelons, wombats, currawongs etc at your doorstep, which made the Reisebegleitung extremely happy.